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WHO urges stiff regulatory curbs on e-cigarettes

Published on Aug 27, 2014 2:50 PM
 

GENEVA/LONDON (REUTERS) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) called for stiff regulation of electronic cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to minors, in the latest bid to control the booming new market.

In a long-awaited report that will be debated by member states at a meeting in October in Moscow, the United Nations health agency on Tuesday also voiced concern about the concentration of the US$3 billion (S$3.75 billion) market in the hands of big tobacco companies.

"In a nutshell, the WHO report shows that e-cigarettes and similar devices pose threats to public health," Douglas Bettcher, director of the agency's department on non-communicable diseases, told a news briefing in Geneva.

The uptake of e-cigarettes, which use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapour, has rocketed in the past two years, but there is fierce debate about the risks.

A person smokes an electronic cigarette on March 5, 2013, in Paris. The World Health Organisation (WHO) called for stiff regulation of electronic cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to minors, in the latest bid to control the booming new market. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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